Thoughts on the Mode Media bankruptcy

mode media bankruptcyIt’s a strange feeling to have a blog post go viral and wish it hadn’t. That was my experience on Friday, when I checked Google Analytics and saw a huge surge in traffic to my post about what to do when a freelance client files for bankruptcy. I subsequently went to Twitter, and found the cause: the Mode Media bankruptcy announcement on September 15. [Note: I am using “bankruptcy” loosely not legally here, as in “they’ve shut down and aren’t paying their creditors.” The company hasn’t yet filed for legal protection, but that would seem a likely path forward according to this article.] [Read more…]

When a freelance client files bankruptcy

freelance client bankruptcyI started to get suspicious when a reliable freelance client still hadn’t paid their invoice after 60 days and several follow-ups. My left eye started to twitch when I discovered both of my main contacts had been let go. Yesterday, after several voicemails and emails of second and third notices, I got my answer: They’re filing for bankruptcy. It wasn’t a huge invoice, a couple hundred dollars, but it was a reminder from the universe that there’s no such thing as risk-free freelancing. [Read more…]

The top 4 freelancer pet peeves

freelancer pet peevesThere are plenty of things to love about freelancing: freedom, flexibility, and those splendid days when you get 2 or 3 checks in the mail. But what about those times when things don’t run so smoothly? Here are the four most common day-to-day problems that freelancers face…and some thoughts on what you can do about them.

Finding new freelance clients

Actually, let’s amend that slightly: Finding new freelance clients that are a good fit for your business. Here are a few thoughts on where to start: [Read more…]

Different freelance prices for different industries

Wanted to do a quick video followup on a post earlier this week that talked about how you shouldn’t assume a smaller company within a given industry is going to command a lower price than a larger company in that same industry.


The reason I bring this up is that I do believe you should price your services differently based on different industries. As an example, a few weeks ago I was at a networking meeting with a group of other small business owners, and the featured presenter was the former CEO of a large industrial metals company. They produced everything from automotive steel to aerospace materials to fine-grade machine tools. His comment was that they priced differently by sector, region, and country, and they would have been foolish to do otherwise. [Read more…]

Are your freelance writing rates too low?

Among all the questions I receive, the most common revolve around freelance writing rates. Indeed, that was the driving force behind my desire to write The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid.

But today, I want to share a quick anecdote about one of the unseen dangers of freelance writing rates that are too low, in the form of someone whose estimate was so cheap that I almost didn’t hire her. [Read more…]

Writing for exposure

Dear Dr. Freelance: I was asked to write an article for a popular website that puts out a digital magazine periodically. The stories in it get advertised all over several popular websites. I’m something of an expert in my field and a freelance writer. The editor tells me it will be great exposure, but has made no mention of payment. I get the feeling she is treating it like free PR for me and that if she chooses to use my submission, I should be grateful. I don’t have a lot of writing (for bigger sites or magazines) under my belt. Should I do it for the exposure and experience, or turn it down if there is no payment? — Underexposed [Read more…]